The story of "Legacy" was inspired by the lyrics of the Linkin Park song "Figure.09". Figured I had to pay my dues to the greatest band on Earth.
The characters of Seifer Almasy, Fujin, and Raijin, as well as the setting for Final Fantasy VIII, belong to the game gods at Squaresoft. All original characters belong to me. Feel free to rip them off.
He took a long draw from
the bottle, the potent liquor burning down his throat. Wiping his lips, he
set the half-empty bottle down and his hands dropped back to the keyboard.
His eyes perused the blank computer screen, the one little vertical line
flashing on the screen, waiting patiently for his thoughts to be
Memories flooded back into his conciousness, thoughts and rememberances of blood spilled by him, of those who had died on the end of his blade and those who had suffered for his sins. Both friends and enemies had paid for his arrogance, his ambition, his dreams.
He clenched his hands in anger. Her! She had ruined it all, had turned him into a monster, a tool, a pitiful lapdog jumping in the name of his foul mistress, that bitch from the future.
Anger fueling his thoughts, the knight's hands tapped the keyboard furiously.
"RAIJIN!" Seifer heard the
scream, a cry filled with sadness and rage, and it drove him on. He ran through
a dark haze, a dark gray fog that enshrouded everything. The only thing guiding
him was the distant sound of
Abruptly, Seifer saw something materialize out of the fog ahead. A figure, kneeling and leaning over another figure laying on the ground. As Seifer closed, he saw the kneeling figure's shoulders jerking, as if it was crying. A moment later, the blonde man recognized the pair.
Fujin, kneeling over the body of her brother, Raijin, as he lay in a widening pool of blood.
Seifer felt his knees slacken at the sight of Raijin's body, and the long slash across his bare chest. A sound escaped his lips, somewhere between a cry, a moan, and a hate-filled growl. Fujin looked up at Seifer at the sound of the noise, her single eye rimmed in red from the tears.
Behind her, something moved.
Seifer shouted something in alarm, even as a ghostly apparition materialized out of the fog behind Fujin. Before he could even begin to move to Fujin's aid, a long, slender blade appeared in the apparition's hand.
Fujin noticed the alarmed look on Seifer's face, and whipped around to face the figure looming up behind her. Even as she became aware of the threat and was bringing her shurieken up, the saber-like blade was already diving down into her chest. Her single visible eye widened in shock, and then she fell back, her weapon falling from her hand. As the shurieken clattered to the ground, Fujin's crumpled body slumped down next to it.
As the thing's blade slid free of her body, Seifer loosed a scream of hatred and denial. He felt the hard metal of his gunblade's handle in his grasp, even though he hadn't drawn it, or didn't even have the weapon's sheath on him. Not noticing the weapon's appearance, and not being able to even care if he did, Seifer charged the apparition.
The thing turned to face him, and its slender blade snapped up into a ready guard position. Hyperion came in hard and fast, in a barrage of spinning strikes, each one clanging off his opponent's blade. However, his enemy made no move to counter Seifer's assault, instead intent on merely evading the blows.
Seifer executed a quick double-feint, a thrust and a slash that he pulled short, and whipped around in a lightning-fast spinning slash that would have been nearly impossible to block.
Somehow, his opponent had seen through the feints, and had known Seifer would use that very spinning slash, for as Hyperion came around, it rang off the saber-like blade of his enemy.
For a moment, the two enemies were locked in a clinch, and stood face to face. In that moment, the shadowy veil that had surrounded Seifer's enemy was drawn aside, and he looked into the face of Fujin and Raijin's murderer.
Seifer saw himself.
His eyes widened in confused shock, and the apparition shoved him backwards. The blonde man stumbled back, fighting to maintain his balance as his brain caught up with what he was seeing. As Seifer regained his footing, the apparition began laughing.
"You like what you see, Seifer?" it asked.
"What...what the hell...are you?" Seifer asked, his breath coming out in short, quick pants.
"What am I?" the apparition repeated. It smiled, an evil sneer that Seifer knew he'd held on his own face in the past. "I'm...." It pointed its blade at Seifer. "...you."
Seifer shook his head in denial and disbelief.
"Deny it all you want," the apparition hissed. It pointed a finger at its face, at Seifer's face. "But the truth differs from what you would want to believe."
"Shut up!" Seifer shouted. His gunblade came up, slicing at the apparition. "Murderer!"
"You call me a murderer?" the apparition said, blocking the attack. "Shout that in the mirror, then, knight! Any blood on my hands is also on yours!" The thing leaped back, then pointed at Fujin and Raijin's bodies. "Your actions, my actions, killed them. Our sins held the blade that cut them down. They're dead because of you!"
"NO!" Seifer stubbornly denied. His gunblade dove and cut, spun and slashed, but the apparition, his shadow, kept dodging aside and deflecting the blows with minimal effort.
"You think you can actually kill me?" the apparition queried as it deflected a complex series of thrusts and slashes. "You fool. Don't you get it? I AM you!"
Seifer came in hard, his gunblade slashing across in vicious rage. In a single smooth motion, the apparition hopped back and slammed its own weapon on the back of Seifer's, driving it into the ground.
A sadistic smile formed on the apparition's face, and its left hand shot forward, into Seifer's chest. Seifer expected a thudding blow to his upper body, but to his shocked horror, the apparition's hand sank into his chest, melding the two together.
Seifer's grasp on Hyperion loosened as the apparition stepped in closer, its lower arm now completly engulfed in Seifer's torso.
"Don't you get it?" the apparition whispered, its sadistic smile growing. By now the thing was up to its elbow into Seifer. "I said we are one and the same, you and I. United by our love of the Sorceress! United by her power!"
"No!" Seifer denied, his left hand punching desperately into his own face, mirrored on the thing before him. Seifer's fist dove into the apparition's head, melding with it just as its upper arm had joined with his own chest.
The apparition laughed, and Seifer watched helplessly as his own face came forward. The two heads connected, and the apparition stepped fully into Seifer, becoming one with him.
Resounding deep inside of his very core, Seifer heard the thing's sick laughter.
"Get....out of me!" Seifer shouted.
"You can no more seperate yourself from me than you could your own shadow!" came the apparition's words, but spoken from Seifer's own mouth. At that moment, Seifer knew the thing was taking over. "We are one, Seifer! You and I, the legacy of Ultimecia! Born by her power, by the power of the Sorceresses!"
"No!" Seifer shouted back, denying the words coming out of his own mouth. "Get out of my body!"
"Fool!" he then shouted, mocking his own words. Seifer's face locked into a sneer. "How many times do I have to say, I am you! We cannot be seperated! Look at them, Seifer!" He found himself turning to face the bodies of Fujin and Raijin. "Whose hands does their blood stain? Ours!"
"NO! You killed them!" shouted Seifer, refusing to belive the thing's words.
"So did you. Don't you realize what I am? I am you, the part that gave yourself over to the infinite power of the Sorceress. I was the part of you that laughed when Squall screamed, that launched missiles at children, that sacrificed Rinoa to Adel to fulfill the Sorceress's demands!" Seifer heard the sound of laughter coming out of his own mouth. "You can never seperate yourself from me, knight! You will never escape from the legacy of the Sorceress! A legacy of blood, and suffering, and death!"
* * * * *
"NO!" Seifer shouted, jolted
forth from the dream, the images of Fujin and Raijin's torn bodies still
fresh on his mind, the mocking laughter coming out of his own mouth still
echoing in his
"Ah!" came a cry from across the room, as Raijin was jolted out of his own nap. He glanced around quickly, then looked to Seifer, who was leaning forward in his chair, panting heavily as his heart hammered away furiously, practically trying to burst free of its confines.
"Seifer, you okay?!" he asked, hopping up out of his chair, searching the room for threats. "Something happen to Fujin?"
"No," Seifer breathed out. The blonde man's shirt and hair were soaked with cold sweat. He reached up to wipe some of the stinging liquid out of his eyes. "Just . . . just a bad dream . . ."
Raijin sighed in relief, and settled back down into his chair for a moment.
"Phew. Don't scare me like that, ya know!" Raijin said. "I thought those bastards had come back, ya know!"
"Sorry," Seifer replied. He glanced back at Raijin, and tried to replace the images from his dream with the real Raijin, alive and well. He watched for a few seconds as the burly man settled back down into his chair, drifting back off to sleep.
As Raijin's breathing turned into the steady rhythm of slumber, Seifer turned his attention to the room's other occupant, who lay on the white hospital bed that his chair sat next to.
He leaned forward from his chair, grasping Fujin's thin hand. From his vantage point, Seifer could see the very top tip of the stitches on her upper chest, just below the collarbone. The stitches alone were enough to send Seifer's memories back to two days ago, to the ambush on the bridge and the desperate drive afterward to the nearest town, hoping to find a clinic which could stabilize Fujin and stop the poisons . . .
And now, here she lay, still recovering from the wounds, and not yet having regained conciousness due to the powerful poisons that had flowed through her blood.
Poisons that had been on the blades of knives that had been intended for Seifer's heart.
"Dammit," Seifer hissed, looking at Fujin's closed eye. "I should have taken the blade on that bridge. I should be here, not you, Fuu . . ." Seifer closed his eyes, vainly attempting to hold back the tears.
"Fuu . . ." he whispered. "I . . . brought this on you. I was so damn stupid, believing her lies. And you two got caught up in it too. They . . . those assassins were after me, for my crimes. But . . . it was you who paid . . ."
Seifer stopped for a second, looking on Fujin's calm, serene face, and then said something no one else would have heard from the proud, young knight.
"Fuu . . . I'm sorry."